The Thermals / Personal Life

Personal LifeThe Thermals are an indie/punk band based in Portland, Oregon, United States. The group was formed in 2002.

The Analysis:

I’m Gonna Change Your Life—-This begins with a nice bass line that is covered in a slight fuzz. When the rest of the band joins in on the track, you are covered with a comfortable blanket that reminds you of life in 1993. The vocal is magical…full of emotional enunciation at just the right points and riding high on the rhythm section of the song. This is nice…the fuzz and the slight distortion makes you warm all over.

I Don’t Believe You—-This has a nice pogo inspiring rhythm that drives the song…the vocal is classic and is bolstered by the entire band on the chorus…making the song much larger than it would have been. This seeps with a restrained energy that is at once contagious and inspirational. I really like this…my favorite track from this release.

Never Listen To Me—-Again, beginning with a nice bass line, this is steeped in the Alternative sound of the early 90’s. This takes me back to a time when the world was just waking up to the underground sound that would become Alternative….not as heavy as some of the bands of that era, it is obvious that this band cut their teeth on Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Breeders. This is delicious.

Not Like Any Other Feeling—-This is so damn addictive…I’m super stoked that I picked this release up. I love the vocal….delivered with a slight accent that leads you to believe this may be a Scottish band rather than a bunch of folks from Portland. This band will do very well overseas…The Brits appreciate this stuff way more than Americans. This is driving yet damn pleasant…powerful without being overpowering. Just fantastic!

Power Lies—-Aggressive leads that never overpower, the vocal is much more forceful…pushing every word into your brain and allowing it to sit there for a time. The fuzz is kept to a minimum, but it is there none the less…giving away what part of the country this band came from. This is magnificent…full of anger and energy, pleading and emotion. Pretty masterful with a huge melody.

Only For You—-With a nice bass driven beat, this allows the vocal almost immediately. Where the quaint accent comes from is beyond me, but it is delivered in a cute way and allows for even more emotion. The drum track is magnificent and the bass guitar remains the star of the show. This is retro yet amazingly fresh.

Alone, A Fool—-Taking time to slow way down, this is an almost acoustic style track that allows the vocal to be the star. The lyrics are heady and emotional..causing you to reflect and daydream as the beat remains steady and consistent. This is dripped in love lost styled lyrics and a pleasant and well delivered musical track.

Your Love Is So Strong—-Returning in fine form to a fuzz driven musical sound and a drum track that borders on manic, the vocal struggles to keep up with the pace of the music. the result is an incredibly energetic track that screams of an angry love lost track. When the whole band joins in on the chorus you grab a beer and cheer right along with them. Great fun!

A Reflection—-Beginning with a nice rhythmic bass line and a swirl of cymbals and high hats, the vocal enters with even more lyrics of lost love and well….reflections of life. This is energetic music that still manages to make you think and comtemplate…the best kind of music…something that actually means something. Nice!

You Changed My Life—-Much more pop oriented than I expected, the band ends the release with a nice counterpart to the opener. The vocal is quaint and comfortable as ever. The entire song, driven by the drum track and a really present bass, delivers a nice thank you to the person that left the singer in the previous 8 songs. Lessons learned despite love lost…magnificent!

**** out of 5


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